Anti corruption commission exposes the most corrupt counties

Ethics and Anti-Corruption CEO Halakhe Waqo.
NAIROBI KENYA: The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has revealed the sums Kenyans  part with in order to get public services.

In its latest report on corruption (National Ethics and Corruption Survey 2017), the body says winning a tender attracts the largest average bribe of Sh102,921 while people seeking employment pay an average of Sh28,606.99. Collection of building or construction certificate costs Sh17,661.11 and, seeking a transfer is now Sh15, 240.33.

Many also pay up to Sh3,973 in bailing out arrested individuals and up to Sh200 for the application of KRA Pin, NSSF and NHIF cards.

According to the report, Wajir ranks top among counties with high chances of bribery followed by Tana River, Mandera, Kakamega, Busia, and Narok. Other counties making it in the top ten list includes Machakos, Mombasa, Kisii and Homabay.

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Assessments by County revealed that Mandera County recorded the highest average bribe of Sh35,440 followed by Kisumu Sh26,762, Busia Sh18,866.61, Nyamira Sh10,967, Muranga 9,297 and Nairobi at Sh8,916. Service seekers in Turkana pay Sh6791, while Uasin Gishu and Wajir pay Sh6744 and Sh6235 respectively.

Further analysis by County indicates that, Wajir County (90 percent) recorded the highest proportion of service seekers who paid bribes to obtain government services followed by Meru (88.5 percent), Trans Nzoia (83.3 percent) and Kajiado (81.5 percent).

The reasons cited for paying the  bribes were thaat that in Marsabit, Tharaka Nithi, Embu and Kitui Counties, all service seekers paid because it was the only way they could access a service.

Those who paid to hasten up the service were largely in Garissa (48.8 percent), Isiolo (42.4 percent), Elgeyo Marakwet (41.9 percent), Kajiado (40.7 percent) and Siaya (39.7 percent) counties respectively as shown in Table 2. In Narok (54 percent), Busia (41.8 percent), Laikipia (36.6 percent), Kisumu (32.9 percent) and Kericho (28.1 percent) respondents indicated that they paid because it is expected.

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Seeking a driving license ranked highest with 8.66 times in terms of bribe payment followed by pension follow-up (2.26), application for college admission (2.19) and collection of a building and construction certificate (2.11).

Turkana County presented the highest average times a bribe is paid at 5.53 times followed by Mandera (3.39), Murang’a (2.79) and Uasin Gishu (2.19). Kirinyaga County recorded the lowest average of 0.88 times followed by Nandi County (0.96).

The Chief’s Office, comprising village elders, is the public office where most bribes were paid with 17.2 percent of the respondents holding this opinion. This was followed by the Regular Police/Police Stations (16.4 percent), Ministry of Health/County Health Department (13.0 percent), Registrar of Persons Offices (10.5 percent), Ministry of Lands (6.1 percent) and Huduma Centre (5.1 percent).

“The overall objective of the National Ethics and Corruption Survey 2017 was to provide data to inform anti-corruption strategy in the country,” said EACC.

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“It covered all the 47 Counties with 5,977 household respondents and 15 Key informants and was conducted from 18th September to 24th October 2017. The Survey being population based, relied on the fifth National Sample Survey and Evaluation Programme (NASSEP V) developed and maintained by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in identifying a representative sample.”

The report comes at a time when President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared war on corruption targeting different arms of the government.

As a way of curbing the vice, the president in July ordered online publication of government tenders and contracts through Executive Order Number Two of 2018.

Publication of the contracts is meant to allow the public to scrutinise the deals and report any irregularities as part of the fight against corruption.

Information on the portal includes the basis of award of tenders, parameters of assessment, names and details of the tender committee members as well as the value of each contract.

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